Ilocos Region, Philippines - The Department of Health-Center for Health Development in the Ilocos Region (DOH-CHD-1) is intensifying its efforts to combat diabetes through regular free mobile diabetic screenings and promoting a healthy lifestyle.
According to Philippines News Agency, these initiatives are crucial in addressing the increasing cases of diabetes in the region. In a phone interview, Baclig Jr. emphasized the importance of physical activity in diabetes prevention, recommending at least two and a half hours per week of moderate to intense exercise, or daily 20-minute sessions. He highlighted the role of exercise in preventing obesity, a key factor in the development of diabetes and other diseases. Baclig Jr. also cautioned against the health risks associated with prolonged sitting, comparing its dangers to those of smoking.
DOH-CHD-1 identifies the major risk factors for non-communicable diseases like diabetes as physical inactivity, unhealthy diets, smoking, and harmful alcohol use. Baclig Jr. informed that diabetic patients could access services at Rural Health Units, while the DOH-CHD-1 conducts health service missions across the region.
DOH-CHD-1 director Paula Paz Sydiongco stated on Wednesday that healthcare access for diabetes patients is a priority, leading to the deployment of mobile diabetic screening tests in municipalities. These efforts include the distribution of free maintenance medicines and regular consultations to reduce the need for hospital visits.
Sydiongco mentioned that the DOH, alongside partner agencies and stakeholders, regularly conducts diabetes education, nutrition consultations, diabetes testing and monitoring, diet, and weight management to ensure patients have access to proper care and information.
The 2022 Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS) report showed that 7,174 new diabetic patients were recorded last year in the Ilocos Region, including 323 from Ilocos Norte, 902 from Ilocos Sur, 1,425 from La Union, 3,931 from Pangasinan, and 593 from Dagupan City. From 2016-2022, the region has a total of 115,112 recorded diabetes cases.